To put forward my case I’ll start from the very beginning, over 12 years ago. Korn’s debut studio album was released, rather un-creatively titled Korn. With their career officially off the mark and out into hands of the masses and with tracks such as the timeless Blind and quirky Shoots and Ladders its fair to assume fans had high hopes.
I can only guess that most fans over the following five years had just about written off the band before the second studio album release Life is peachy. Oddly their third album Issues came in the same month, however I personally think this was a blessing because Life is peachy is by far their worst album, I have favourite tracks off all of their albums except this one, and with Issues concealing some of Korn’s darkest and most intense tracks it probably saved their ass.
Now we are taken into the new millennium and in 2002 their forth album Follow the Leader hits the market. This would be the first Korn album I picked up and bought, it was this album that I discovered the band and would never look back.
The first four tracks to this album are just pure and simply awesome and still sound fresh and original to this day. It would be hard to believe that the album as a whole could progress after such a solid beginning but with experimental rap offerings with the help from the likes of IceCude, Hip Hop bass line teasers, mean guitar riffs and the truly brilliant dynamic vocals from Jonathan Davis the album is a master peace.
With the band on a creative roll, later the same year their fifth album Untouchables came along. Interestingly I struggled with this one but it featured a handful of accessible tracks, Here to Stay getting commercial radio play and featuring on World Wrestling. It wouldn’t be for a few years later that I realised one of my favourite Korn tracks of all time was on this album, maybe a hint that they were ahead of their time.
2003 brought there sixth Studio album, admittedly at the time I was suspicious of what to expect after my disappointment with the previous but ultimately overwhelmed and relived. Take a look in the Mirror is probably their best, most solid album, track after track of heavy guitar riffs and vocal hooks. It’s dark, mean and kicks ass. Right Now, Here it comes again and Deep Inside are just a few to mention but there isn’t a bad track on the album and features Did my time, the title sound track to Tomb raider 2 plus a bonus track, a Metallica cover!
Korn had proved to me that they stood the test of time, after playing Take a look in the mirror to death it made it irresistible to listen to all their older albums and revive that (now officially self proclaimed) Korn fan.
In 2005 we had a Greatest Hits album and Seventh Studio album See you on the other side contained a few treats and some bonus dance mixes that would rival any super star DJ. And in 2005 a couple Live, rare and unplugged offerings suggesting the band had had their day, but a respectable one at that.
2007: And then…..I here that Korn have done MTV Unplugged and soon after released their eighth studio album. Admittedly the thought of Korn doing Unplugged made me very nervous. But, sticking to there philosophy of trying out ideas I was nicely surprised they’d pulled some of it off. Kicking off with a Latin version of Blind and introducing a couple of guests including Amy Lee and some Japanese Drummers, there are some really nice moments.
Their new album however, again not the most creatively titled untitled contains some of the most genius tracks I think I ever heard. Bitch we got a problem using exceptionally cool synthesized licks, Evolution sticking to Korn’s trade mark power choruses and verses packed full of rhythm, the album gets of to a winning start.
And then it comes to the track Hold On. Now let’s get one thing clear, I am a fan of music from a massive array of genres. I know music is ultimately down to taste but I like to think I have a pretty good idea. Taking into consideration Korn’s career, and thier moments of pure brilliants, one would think they had peaked along time ago.
Hold on is probably the one most single peace of pure and utter genius I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. With a couple of clicks of the drum sticks the trade mark Korn sound pours through the speakers and without any nonsense in kicks the punchy verse riff soaked with rhythm. Naturally the vocal melody perfection from Jonathan Davis completes the beginning. The Chorus has the head nodding appeal that even the Churchill dog would applauded. Into the second verse and in sneaks some random experimental analogue noises. Korn have somehow reinvented them selves yet without loosing their sound. This track is fresh, dynamic, perfection and pure fucking genius. And I dare say, the band has truly peaked.
It maybe unfair to single out a band as being the best but is Korn the best band of this decade? With eight studios albums under there belt, each containing experimentation, creativity and not a guitar solo in sight. Maybe not, but they sure as hell are one of them.